to Governor Henry A. Wise, n.d. [ca. November 1859].
Mr Wise Sir, By a Virginia jury John Brown has been convicted as a criminal. And for what? For daring to obey that divine Command "If ye would that men should do too you do ye even so too them," If Mr. Brown commited an error it was an error of the head- not of the heart. But Sir, "Too err is human. to forgive divine." You have it in your power to prove you can be magnanamous to a noble foe. do it- and the blessings of millions shall be yours- Fail to do it- and you shall have touched a chord that shall not cease to vibrate till "The bonds of the oppressor shall be broken and the oppressed go free" Yea, though this Union of ours should be dissolved in blood.
"Give me Liberty, Or give me death"
Governor's Office, Letters Received, Henry A. Wise, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.